The SUAQ Project

The SUAQ Project

The SUAQ project is an orangutan research and conservation project at the Suaq Balimbing monitoring station in South Aceh Indonesia. The two main incentives of the SUAQ project are researching the behavior and biology of the Sumatran orangutans as well as contributing to the conservation of the species. Through our behavioral research we not just shed light on the evolution of our own species, but we also find out the biological needs of the Sumatran orangutans which is indispensable to effectively secure its remaining natural habitats.

At Suaq Balimbing, orangutan research has been carried out since the 1990ies and was originally started by Prof. Dr. Carel van Schaik. The orangutan data of the SUAQ project thus includes multiple decades of behavioral, ranging, and environmental data as well as data on body size, growth, and genetics (you can find our data collection protocols here). Our long-term research has also yielded in a detailed long-term cross-sectional data set on the development of more than 20 immature orangutans and their mothers.

The SUAQ project is directed by Dr. Caroline Schuppli of the Max-Planck Institute of Animal Behavior (MPI AB) in Konstanz, Germany. The SUAQ project was started by Dr. Schuppli and her students at the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zürich which remains a close collaboration partner. Since the onset of the orangutan research at Suaq, we are collaborating with different Indonesian Universities including Universitas National (UNAS) and the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB). The activities of the SUAQ project are funded by the SUAQ foundation which, together with our long-term collaboration partner PanEco also funds the Suaq Balimbing monitoring station. On site, the Suaq Balimbing monitoring station is run by YEL within the framweork of the Sumatran orangutan conservation programme (SOCP). 

For more information about the SUAQ project, our work, and updates from the field, visit its website: or follow us on social media – Twitter: @SuaqOrangutans; Facebook:; Instagram: @orangutansofsuaq.

Zur Redakteursansicht